Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War

Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War


On April four, 1864, Abraham Lincoln made a stunning admission approximately his presidency throughout the Civil warfare. "I declare to not have managed events," he wrote in a letter, "but confess it seems that that occasions have managed me." Lincoln's phrases hold a useful lesson for wartime presidents, writes Andrew J. Polsky during this seminal publication. As Polsky exhibits, whilst commanders-in-chief do attempt to regulate wartime occasions, normally they fail completely.

In Elusive Victories, Polsky offers a desirable examine of six wartime presidents, drawing greater classes concerning the limits of the facility of the White condo in the course of armed clash. He examines, in flip, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, displaying how every one gravely overvalued his strength as commander-in-chief. In each one case, those presidents' assets didn't fit the foremost demanding situations that recur from struggle to conflict. either Lincoln and Johnson intervened in army operations, giving orders to precise devices; but either struggled with the emerging unpopularity in their conflicts. either Wilson and Bush entered hostilities with idealistic agendas for the aftermath, but discovered themselves helpless to enact them. With perception and readability, Polsky identifies overarching concerns that would tell present and destiny policymakers. the only most crucial dynamic, he writes, is the erosion of a president's freedom of motion. each one choice propels him down a course from which he can't flip again. while George W. Bush rejected the assumption of invading Iraq with 400,000 troops, he couldn't ship the sort of strength years later because the insurgency unfold. within the ultimate bankruptcy, Polsky examines Barack Obama's ideas in gentle of those conclusions, and considers how the stories of the prior could tell the area we are facing now.

Elusive Victories is the 1st e-book to supply a accomplished account of presidential management in the course of wartime, highlighting the major hazards that presidents have missed at their peril.

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